While I was writing A CHRISTMAS CARL, I kept wondering about the darkness of the overall storyline in the original novella, “A Christmas Carol.” And I knew that this storyline had been done many times, in many ways, both in books and in films. I’m not exactly sure, though, if it’s been done with an LGBT slant as a m/m romance. So the key factor with this book that I thought was most important was the LOVE. Carl, the main character, had to believe in LOVE, otherwise nothing would have mattered and he wouldn’t have been able to grow.
The love is what causes all the conflict in the story. It takes this typically dark story and turns it into something uplifting and light. I didn’t play around with the fact that the main character is cheap and mean and everything that Christmas and love is not about. Due to various circumstances in his life, Carl has given up on love and he despises Christmas. As a matter of fact, from page one, Carl’s negativity and his cold blooded attitude toward everything that is good and decent about love and Christmas is chronicled. And he’s not well loved by anyone else, either. All the negativity within him, attracts even more negativity to him.
But as the story progresses and Carl witnesses why he’s become the way he is with the help of the three Christmas Ghosts (one of which is the ghost of Quentin Crisp), he begins to arc, ultimately leading toward a very happy ending that’s filled with the kind of romance and love and quality of life Carl thought he’d once lost. And the fact that he is a gay man, who has lived through major changes in the way society views gay men, (I never get political, but as an openly gay writer it would be impossible to write a m/m novel without getting into the realities that surround gay men) makes the climax of the book even more valid. In other words, he has real reasons (he thinks he does) for becoming a negative man who hates Christmas; just as he has real reasons for changing the way he lives his life in the end of the book.
And it’s all centered around love. Love is what gives him the reason the change. And believing in Love is what changes all the lives around him.